This paper will focus on how the radiocarbon dating method works, how it is used by scientists, and how creationists have interpreted the results.
Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope formed in the upper atmosphere.
Now, when I did that, I made a pretty big assumption, and some you all have touched on this in the comments on You Tube on the last video, is how do I know that this estimate I made is based on the assumption that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere would have been roughly constant from when this bone was living to now?
And so the question is, is the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere and in the water, and in living plants and animals, is it constant?
Scientists have known for some time that the Earth goes through cycles of climatic change.Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide which contains C left in a sample to accurately measure without contamination.Theoretically, radiocarbon techniques have the ability to date samples to around 75,000 years, but the working threshold of reliable dating is around 50,000 years.In the last video, we talked about the idea that if I dug up a bone someplace, if I dug up a bone, and if I were to measure its carbon-14, and I found that it had half of the carbon-14 that I would expect to find in a living animal or plant, that I said, hey, maybe one half life has gone by, or roughly for carbon-14, one half life is 5,730 years.So I said maybe it's 5,730 years since this bone was part of a living animal, or it's roughly that old.And so it's kind of a record of the atmosphere up to 10,000 years. Those are the speleothems that are coming from the top of the cave.If you want to go even further back, you can look at cave deposits, and the fancy word for these cave deposits are speleothems. But the reason why these are useful is these are formed by calcium carbonate, so they have carbon in them, and slowly over, really, tens of thousands of years, the water in the cave deposits that calcium carbonate.The most accurate definition would be that ice ages are periods when ice sheets and glaciers expand across the planet, which correspond to significant drops in global temperatures and can last for millions of years.During an ice age, there are significant temperature differences between the equator and the poles, and temperatures at deep-sea levels have also been shown to drop.And you can look at their tree rings, and I think most of us are familiar with this idea that every year that a tree grows, it forms another layer of bark.And so you can look back to that layer of bark just for the half life of carbon-14, and then figure out how much carbon-14 was there in the atmosphere at that period in time. Those are those speleothems that are kind of coming out of the bottom of the cave, or stalactites.